new york giants film room gary brightwell
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants drafted Arizona running back Gary Brightwell in the sixth round. Let’s take a look at his film from the collegiate level.

Gary Brightwell Info

  • RB, Arizona
  • Giants’ 2021 sixth-round draft pick (No. 196 overall)
  • 6-foot-1, 218 pounds
  • 2020 Stats (five games): 390 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, one touchdown; 13 receptions, 53 yards
  • 2019 Stats (10 games): 390 yards, 5.9 yards per carry, five touchdowns; four receptions, 59 yards, one touchdown; three kick returns, 39 yards, 13.0 yards per return

How Gary Brightwell will Fit into the Giants Roster

The Giants are going to utilize Gary Brightwell for depth purposes behind Saquon Barkley, and that’s if he makes an impression during the training camp and preseason periods prior to the regular season.

If he makes the final roster, Brightwell will join a group of reserve running backs that additionally may include primary fullback Elijhaa Penny and free-agent pickup Devontae Booker. While the former could be utilized more in short-yardage and goal-line situations, the latter will likely be Barkley’s primary backup.

Joe Judge obviously has an endearing perception of special teams, so expect him and coordinator Thomas McGaughey to find a decent number of reps for Brightwell in that area of the game as well.

Gary Brightwell Film Room Notes

Brightwell and Arizona’s November 2020 loss to USC (21 carries, 112 yards, 5.3 yards per carry; three receptions, 20 yards)

Brightwell will certainly need to pass block in what has become a passing league, and on this play, he employs superb footwork and a nice base and shows he’s able to meet the defender instead of waiting for him in the backfield.

Brightwell utilizes great vision in order to find a hole through defenders and is then elusive and fast enough to take advantage of the space given to him.

Brightwell portrays the ability to make guys miss on the above play.

Gary’s speed and footwork are on display here as he outruns defenders and makes the right cuts for the first down.

Brightwell and Arizona’s December 2020 loss to Colorado (22 carries, 117 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, one touchdown; two receptions, five yards)

A tremendous play, to say the least.

Brightwell utilizes great vision and athleticism to make the right cuts and find space en route to a Wildcat touchdown.

Another great block from Brightwell here, who breaks down and shuffles his feet in order to make contact and protect the quarterback from the oncoming pass rusher.

And lastly, the vision and elusiveness are on display again as Brightwell finds the hole on this 2nd-&-9 handoff from the pistol formation.


Brightwell could see a decent amount of playing time on special teams as he works within the group of reserve running backs behind Saquon Barkley. However, he does bring a number of talented qualities to the offensive side of the field — Gary is capable of portraying speed and elusiveness when carrying the ball and also employs superb vision when searching for the right hole.

I didn’t expect the Giants to target a running back in this draft, but they may have found a diamond in the rough during the sixth round.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.